The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol has been invited to join Cotton 2040. Convened by sustainability nonprofit Forum for the Future, the Cotton 2040 coalition is a unique partnership that brings together representatives from standards, producers, brands and retailers, and existing industry initiatives specifically to build on and accelerate collective action to scale up and overcome barriers to sustainable cotton uptake across multiple standards.
The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is a new system for responsibly-grown cotton that provides annual data for six areas of sustainability aligned with the U.N. Sustainability Goals. This year-over-year data, available for the first time, allows brands and retailers to better measure progress towards meeting sustainability commitments.
The Trust Protocol also will be included in Cotton 2040’s CottonUP guide, a toolkit to help sourcing directors make sustainable decisions. The CottonUP guide to sourcing sustainable cotton seeks to address one of the main barriers for companies looking to start sourcing or increase the amount of sustainable cotton they source: the time and resource required to research and implement the most appropriate sourcing approach for their organisation’s sustainability priorities.
The guide highlights the business case and main sourcing options for sustainable cotton, provides guidance on creating a sourcing strategy and on working with suppliers, and shares case studies from companies that have already navigated the complex challenges of sourcing more sustainable cotton.
“We are pleased to see the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol recognized by Cotton 2040 and listed on their CottonUp guide,” said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “The Trust Protocol is a unique tool for brands and retailers, and we will continue to partner with them in their efforts to demonstrate progress toward sustainability goals.”
“The apparel sector is under huge pressure to reduce its social and environmental impact, and increasing demand for more sustainable fibres is key to securing future supply. The CottonUP guide addresses a long-standing need in the industry for clarity around cotton sourcing options, providing brands and retailers with the resources to help them go further, faster. It can be a key enabler for systemic change in the industry, and could be a blueprint for other commodities in the future,” said Sally Uren, CEO at Forum for the Future. “‘We’re happy to include the Trust Protocol as a new sustainability standard.”
Cotton 2040’s interactive CottonUp guide recognizes the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol as a sustainable cotton standard alongside BCI, CmiA, Fairtrade, myBMP, organic and recycled cotton. The CottonUp toolkit is a compressive guide to help stakeholders within the cotton sector to navigate the complexity, and better understand the major sustainable cotton standards they could adopt, how they work, and select the best options for their business. Facilitated by sustainability nonprofit Forum for the Future, with funding support from the Laudes Foundation, the Cotton 2040 envisages a sustainable global cotton industry which is resilient in a changing climate; uses business models that support sustainable production and livelihoods, and where sustainably-produced cotton is the norm.
About the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
In a period of ever greater supply chain scrutiny and a growing demand for transparency, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will set a standard for more sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the issue of responsibly-grown cotton production and drives continuous improvement in key sustainability metrics.
The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies U.S. cotton’s progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. Choosing Trust Protocol cotton will give brands and retailers the critical assurances they need that the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is more sustainably grown with lower environmental and social risk. Brands and retailers will gain access to U.S. cotton with sustainability credentials proven via Field to Market, measured via the Fieldprint Calculator and verified with Control Union Certifications.
The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is overseen by a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprised of representatives from brands and retailers, civil society and independent sustainability experts as well as the cotton-growing industry, including growers, ginners, merchants, wholesalers and cooperatives, mills and cottonseed handlers.
The Trust Protocol is also on the Textile Exchange’s list of 36 preferred fibers and materials from which more than 170 participating brands and retailers can select from as part of Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index program.